Category Archive: Marketing, Networking & Social Media

33 Simple, Low Budget Ways to Score More Customers for Your Business

Getting clients and customers in business is the holy grail of growing your income. And I hear the cry daily of “I need more customers” from people, and they always want more ideas for how to get more customers in their businesses.  

With that idea in mind, I decided to create a list with a ton of different ways to get customers or clients in business. Now, I’m not encouraging you to use every single one of these. The trick is to find the few that really work for you. 

1. Direct Mailing. I’ve heard some say that they think direct mailing is dead. Yet, it is one of the most effective ways to get clients and customers in many businesses.  Don’t count it out yet.

2. Write a Book. A book can make an excellent calling card for you for your business.  It can be used in many different contexts, and doesn’t have to be as long as War and Peace. You can write a shorter book.

more customers

3. Create a Podcast. Many people now listen to podcasts. Create a podcast with a vision, and tell your story, share your vision, bring on guests, and upload it to iTunes.

4. Guest Podcasting. Just as you can create your own podcast, most podcasters are looking for guests. If you’re looking for tons of exposure to other people’s audiences, then this is a great way to get yourself out there. Be a great guest and help people promote their podcasts and you’ll get to be a guest on many of them!

5. Guest Writing. Many outlets and blogs accept guest articles. Elephant Journal, Huffington Post, Inc, Forbes, Leadership Girl, and more. If you are working on expanding your reach, one of the easiest ways is to submit articles to other sites.  

6. Speaking Engagements. Look around you, and you’ll find speaking engagements.  Community groups, Girl Scouts, Boy Scouts, Rotary Club, Lions Club, and More- they’re looking for guest speakers, and help with a variety of topics.  It’s amazing what you will get once you reach out, and just ask. Once you have built up and done a few, smaller gigs, you can work up to larger, and more impressive opportunities.

7. Networking Meetings. Find some good networking meetings through BNI, or Meetup.com. Note that business isn’t actually done at the meeting, but rather afterwards at 1:1 meetings. If you have attended meetings in the past that haven’t worked out, I challenge you to go back and find a group that is a good fit for you and has people who will meet with you and actually refer to you!

more customers8. Become an Expert Writer for a Magazine or Newspaper. I’ve found that being a regular contributor to certain magazines and newspapers has helped me grow my career tremendously. I try to choose based on reach and exposure. And I make sure that I’m getting exposed to a different audience. This is a great opportunity for exposure. 

9. Alumni Groups. If you have graduated from a particular school, university or other program, there may be an alumni group that you can join. Given that people will do business with those they know, like and trust, this is an excellent opportunity to find other people who have quite a bit in common with you already. That’s a big step in the direction of ‘Know, Like and Trust’, which makes it that much easier to convert them into a customer.

10. Volunteering. You can’t volunteer and hope to find clients instantly, but volunteering in the right places, and being consistent about it can be a huge source of clients. As a Girl Scout Leader for the last several years, many of my best referrals have come from the parents in the troop.

11. Facebook Ads. You can target nearly anyone using Facebook Ads. Since Facebook collects vast amounts of information about its users, this is a great opportunity to be able to target people very precisely, and to get in front of the people you’re trying to reach.

12. Google Adwords. Google advertising works wonders to help you get in front of people when they are searching for businesses like yours. That means if you have a relatively new website, or perhaps there are a gazillion other people like you out there (you know, like the fact that there are hundreds of divorce attorneys in Wake County, and hundreds of home care agencies). You can make yourself come out at the top of searches for a price.

13. Facebook Live. Facebook Live is free, and is arguably one of the most powerful ways to connect with people on social media. By getting in front of people on a regular basis, on video, and delivering high quality content, you are likely to get more clients, faster. This works well for many different types of businesses and can be quite powerful.

14. Kids’ Activities. If you have kids, and they have activities like sports, music, dance, and the like, you are likely sitting in the lobby while your children are taking lessons. This provides you an opportunity to talk with other parents. You might be surprised at who you can meet during those activities. I’ve gotten a number of referrals that way, and have also made some really good friends. What’s not to like about that?

15. Church, Synagogue, Temple, or any Religious Group You Belong to. These are people you join together with to worship, and they already have culture and religion in common with you. Many churches have networking groups and make a point of supporting the small businesses that are owned by their parishioners. Look closely to see what you find. You may be surprised.

16. Craigslist. Don’t forget this resource. By getting in front of people in your community for free, you can frequently pick up more customers.  

17. Buy, Sell, Trade Groups on Facebook. Just about every area has lots of buy, sell, trade groups on Facebook, and you can list your services for sale there. People come looking in those groups to buy stuff, so you have the opportunity to sell to people who are looking to buy. It’s a beautiful thing, indeed.

18. Social Groups. If you have ladies who get together to play Bunco, or who do other things, this could be an excellent opportunity to pick up customers. Not that you’re going to lead into the discussion with the intent to sell, but if the relationship develops, it can naturally lead to referrals.

19. Your Work Place. If you’re working a side hustle as so many of us are, then your workplace could be the perfect place to find clients or customers. Many times they will happily refer to your business, and that can make the perfect customer base as you’re just beginning to build your business.

more customers20. Press Releases. You can go onto Fiverr and have press releases put out for a nominal cost. This will help you get seen, and to get seen as an expert. It used to yield a lot of link juice for backlinks to your website, but now it’s more just a way to get seen and found as an expert in your field.

21. HARO, otherwise known as Help A Reporter Out. Reporters put out requests for information and you can pitch them as an expert with your response. It can take some time to get quoted, but often you will get quoted and get links to your website, helping yourself get found.

22. Build an Email List. If you aren’t tracking your clients’ email addresses, following up with them after the sale, and putting out periodic information and reminders, you are leaving a ton of money on the table. In the online world, we do this as a natural part of having a business. But many businesses, whether they are auto mechanics, acupuncturists, massage therapists, hair stylists, or others, should also be putting out a newsletter on a regular basis with regular offers to help grow their businesses. This is frequently the biggest single hole I find in people’s businesses — no keeping track of emails, and no plans for a communication strategy.

23. Facebook Groups. The idea with most Facebook Groups isn’t that you go in and immediately start promoting. Rather, you go in and act as a resource. You introduce yourself and become a member of the community. This works well in conjunction with networking.

24. Paid Ads in Magazines, Radio, TV, etc. I’m lumping these together because they are fairly obvious. You need to have a budget to allow you to cover these types of advertising, but they can work depending on the nature of your business.

25. Nextdoor. There is a social networking service called Nextdoor where neighbors share information and recommend businesses. I have recommended other small business owners, usually services or restaurants; it can be a great way to spread word of mouth advertising for a small business.

26. YouTube. Videos are crazy powerful, and you can reuse your Facebook Live videos on YouTube – or not. You can also do YouTube live videos and reach a very powerful audience with your message.  

27. Banner Ads. You can advertise with banner ads on a lot of different websites, like your local TV station’s ads. So many places to put your face and business, so little time. Choose wisely.

28. Create a Facebook Business Page. This allows you to claim your stake for your real estate on Facebook, but also to collect reviews and become more “credible” to the online community. I do get referrals and leads through my page. It’s a process of getting in front of people regularly, even if you have to get creative about it.

29. LinkedIn Messaging. Once you connect to people on LinkedIn, you can message them. This is a great opportunity to connect, grow your business and find clients.

30. Private Messaging on Facebook. This gives you a great opportunity to connect with people, answer their questions, build a relationship, and give value. The trickiest thing I encounter is that people just want to ask me a few questions about their business, and it can be a slippery slope if I’m answering questions.

31. Pinterest. Pinterest is a powerhouse for sending traffic to your website. I’ve known some people who assume that they can’t build their business using Pinterest. But if you do it correctly and build over time, you WILL increase traffic to your website.

32. Snapchat, Instagram, Twitter, and Most Other Social Media Platforms. Find your favorite and stick to it.

33. Webinars. If you can get people onto a free training, they are much more likely to buy.

There are hundreds of ways to get more customers, but I thought that sticking with 33 was a great way to start.

What are your favorite ways to get clients in your business?


Have you been using Google as your business consultant?
Are you ready to start working with an expert in business instead?
Schedule a consult with me today.

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Meet the Author: Haley Lynn Gray

Haley Lynn GrayHaley helps female entrepreneurs create a strategy plan for their businesses – so they can make enough money to spend quality time with their family, pay for their children’s dance lessons, pay bills – and not worry about where the next client is coming from.

Haley is a serial entrepreneur and founder of Leadership Girl. She helps other entrepreneurs build their businesses by sharing the benefits of her business education and experience through Business Coaching.

Whether you want to get a new business off the ground or expand an existing business, Haley can assist you.

Connect with Haley:


Permanent link to this article: http://www.leadershipgirl.com/33-low-budget-ways-score-more-customers/

What Do I Do With All These Business Cards?

~by Haley Lynn Gray~

 

If you’ve been to a few networking meetings, chances are you’ve accumulated a healthy stack or two of business cards. I collect them by the cartload. The question then becomes, “What in the world do I do with all of these business cards?”

There are some things you should do, and then there are some things you absolutely should not do if you don’t want to face prosecution and fines.

Wait, what? 

Image with Text: What do I do with all of these business cards???If you collect business cards, do not go back to your office and add each of those people to your email list. If you add someone to your email list simply based on having a copy of their business card, you can face prosecution and fines for putting them on your email list without their express permission. Don’t do it. It really is not worth it. 

True story – I had one of my sales reps add everyone to our email list who had given her a business card. We didn’t have any way of knowing which emails on the list were good, and which ones were from someone’s business card, so we had to ditch our entire email list and start all over. Hundreds of emails gone. Since emails are a connection to potential clients and referral sources, that one mistake cost my business thousands of dollars. We had also spent hundreds of dollars on advertising and gathering emails, so this was a huge setback. If we had been reported, it could have cost us the entire business, so we deleted those emails. 

What do you with with business cards instead?

There are a number of ways you can handle the situation, and you can take any of these approaches when faced with those great, huge stacks of business cards. 

Create a follow-up email that can be a template or form letter. In the email, mention when you met them, and where, and ask to follow up with another meeting. Also, ask for permission to add them to your email list. Once you’ve talked with them and gotten permission, you can add them to your email list. Scan their contact information, if you think you will use it later, and discard the business cards.

Make sure you update your contacts with the information, and relevant contact info, so that you can reach people.  Then use a tool like My Bee Hyve to track your followups with the people you want to follow up with. We have lots of great tools and resources you can use to manage the overwhelming piles of cards and information that come in the door!

In the interest of disclosure, I keep some of the business cards to hand out later in a card box, but I don’t like to keep every card indefinitely.

Another trick my dad taught me is to write down on the card where and when you met the person, and maybe something personal to help you remember them. This way, when you do follow up with them, you have a record.  Take that one step further, and add that information under the contact information and notes/company info so you can remember where you met someone.
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Meet the Author: Haley Lynn Gray

Haley Lynn GrayHaley helps female entrepreneurs create a strategy plan for their businesses – so they can make enough money to spend quality time with their family, pay for their children’s dance lessons, pay bills – and not worry about where the next client is coming from.

Haley is a serial entrepreneur and founder of Leadership Girl. She helps other entrepreneurs build their businesses by sharing the benefits of her business education and experience through Business Coaching.

Whether you want to get a new business off the ground or expand an existing business, Haley can assist you.

Connect with Haley:



Permanent link to this article: http://www.leadershipgirl.com/what-do-i-do-with-all-these-business-cards/

How to Build an Amazing Facebook Group

~by Haley Lynn Gray~

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I’ve built my Facebook Group the Women’s Entrepreneur Network on Facebook up from 0 to over 60,000 members in just over 2 years.  It has been an amazing experience in a lot of ways, and I’ve learned so much while growing the group.

Building a Facebook Group for networking purposes can be a fantastic proposal and idea for your business. Think of it this way: you build a group filled with your ideal clients while providing amazing content for them to engage with, and ultimately you bring them into your business. It’s a win-win because you’re giving people a fun, safe place to hang out that supports their wants, needs or desires. And you’re getting lots of really great clients.

I decided to share the lessons that I learned while building my group, as well as growing my clients’ groups.  I’ve followed these rules many times.  I have found that these are the key lessons that I learned while growing my group, broken down into some fairly simple to follow lessons. 

So if Facebook Groups are so great, what do you need to look for and what do you need to do to build a great group?

1. Limit or restrict promotion in the group. If you allow too much promotion, then it can become a drive-by post and dump kind of group with no interaction whatsoever.  That’s no fun for anyone, and it’ll turn your group into something like a zombie apocalypse. Instead, institute rules on how often people can post promotional content, and then be sure to strictly enforce the rules. You may choose to allow promotions on a single thread one day of the week, or never, or one post per so many non-promotional posts. Unrestricted promotion is not usually a good idea beyond the first few people.  

2. Post in the group several times a day at a variety of different times. This will give the new people in your group an opportunity to engage with you. If you don’t have any idea of what to post, try this list of 100 conversation starters.

How to Build an Amazing Facebook Group3. Like and Comment. When people post good stuff in your group, make sure you like and comment on their posts. This encourages them to post good content, and you’ll actually be giving them positive feedback for doing what you want them to do. This helps generate the kinds of content and engagement you want while also building your following.

4. Let your family, friends and business network know about your group, and ask them to join if it’s appropriate. It is never appropriate, however, to add people to a group without their permission. If they remove themselves, then do not re-add them. I can’t tell you how many people I’ve seen get unfriended on Facebook over this particular faux pas.

5. Create posts on your Twitter account and post them regularly. Also create a pinned tweet that advertises your group on Twitter.  Twitter is a great traffic driver, and it can help you find the right people easily, without having to pay for expensive ads, if you provide great, interesting content.  Not into Twitter?  Try this list of ways to grow your following.

6. Thank followers. When someone follows you on almost any social media account, thank them and ask them to join your Facebook Group.  

7. Add a pin to Pinterest for your Facebook group.  This one is pretty easy to do.  Create different graphics- 5, 10, 20 different graphics, and put them out there on Pinterest on different boards, and give people an idea that your group exists, and invite them to join.  

8. Add posts to LinkedIn that tell your connections about your group.  You can also private message your connections, and invite them to join.  Make sure you are inviting people who would be interested, but this can be super effective.

9. Schedule time daily to spend in your group so that you can interact with your groupies. The more energy you put into them, the more energy that will flow back.

10. Follow your own rules. Whatever rules you set, be sure to follow them – just as you expect other members of the group to. This will help give you more credibility as the group Admin and as a business person.

The more time and energy you put into your group, the better it will do, and the more people will join and engage. It is almost “magic” once it starts to grow on its own.  the more engagement you have, the more the group will grow- Try it!

I wrote this ebook- How to build and Grow a Facebook Group, when the group hit 10,000 members, on the exact steps it took to get to 10,000 members. Grab your copy today.

 


Have you been using Google as your business consultant?

Are you ready to start working with an expert in business instead?

Schedule a consult with me today.


Meet the Author: Haley Lynn Gray

Haley Lynn GrayHaley helps female entrepreneurs create a strategy plan for their businesses – so they can make enough money to spend quality time with their family, pay for their children’s dance lessons, pay bills – and not worry about where the next client is coming from.

Haley is a serial entrepreneur and founder of Leadership Girl. She helps other entrepreneurs build their businesses by sharing the benefits of her business education and experience through Business Coaching.

Whether you want to get a new business off the ground or expand an existing business, Haley can assist you.

Connect with Haley:


Permanent link to this article: http://www.leadershipgirl.com/how-build-killer-facebook-group/

Harnessing the ‘Power of We’: Build Relationships to Build Your Business

The ‘Power of We’. It’s at the root of everything good in our world. And relationships are the cornerstone of any business. When we work together, we can conquer just about anything.

As Margaret Mead said, “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.”

power of weI am committed to changing the world one business at a time. That’s precisely why I started Leadership Girl in the first place. Providing resources, education, and sometimes just BEING there.

I’ve been fortunate enough to have grown my Facebook Group, ‘Women’s Entrepreneur Network’ to over 60,000 members since it started just over two years ago. It has been amazing to see women supporting other women in the growth of their businesses. It has been quite humbling at times.

As part of the evolution of my business this year, we’ve added new services — from websites, to promotional products, and more. We’ve also added more classes and more resources. In addition, we have hosted two business summits this year, one virtual, and one that’s live, in person. I believe that very few things are as cool or as awesome as in-person training and meetings!  

power of weSo many times I think people are scared to get out and meet new people — because it’s just a scary place to be! You know, where you have to actually talk to strangers.

Like most business owners, I understand what it’s like to push yourself out of your comfort zone and talk to people you don’t know. As an introvert, it’s something I’ve struggled with for most of my life.  

There is a certain power in building relationships with people, and overcoming that fear, and meeting them face to face. It gives you an opportunity to connect, make friends and build your business like few other things!

At the end of the day, it is all about the ‘Power of We’. Our business will thrive based on the relationships we have and the partnerships we build. So… why not start today building those connections?  

I’m delighted to have the honor of inviting you to the Leadership Girl Live Summit, September 22-24, at beautiful Doyle’s Vineyard in Durham, NC.

Will you come and join me and the other business owners and entrepreneurs?

>> Learn more about Leadership Girl Live Summit here <<


Have you been using Google as your business consultant?
Are you ready to start working with an expert in business instead?

Schedule a consult with me today.


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Meet the Author: Haley Lynn Gray

Haley Lynn GrayHaley helps female entrepreneurs create a strategy plan for their businesses – so they can make enough money to spend quality time with their family, pay for their children’s dance lessons, pay bills – and not worry about where the next client is coming from.

Haley is a serial entrepreneur and founder of Leadership Girl. She helps other entrepreneurs build their businesses by sharing the benefits of her business education and experience through Business Coaching.

Whether you want to get a new business off the ground or expand an existing business, Haley can assist you.

Connect with Haley:


Permanent link to this article: http://www.leadershipgirl.com/power-of-we-build-relationships-build-business/

Why Every Business Needs a Good PR Campaign

~by Lizzie Weakley~

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Entrepreneurs often think their company is too small to worry about creating a public relations (PR) campaign, but the truth is, every business should have one. Big or small, PR opportunities are advantageous for all businesses. Here are some reasons why.

It’s Often Free

Why Every Business Needs a Good PR CampaignYou may not have the advertising budget that some of your competitors enjoy, but many PR opportunities come in the from of volunteering at a charity or encouraging employees to generate donations for them. This costs your company nothing, but can get you mentioned in the local newspaper, on the radio and at other advertising venues who are promoting the event you’ll be participating in. Wearing company logos while at the event is also a great way to be seen and noticed within your community

Size Doesn’t Matter

Large corporations are always donating to charities and participating in charitable events. They also tell customers about their environmental protection initiatives and other good deeds they do. Customers have grown to expect these things from large companies. If you do the same, potential customers will associate your name with good works and may assume you’re a bigger company than you are. In the minds of many consumers, bigger companies are assumed to be more established and reliable, so do what you can to be viewed as one of the big dogs.

Traditional Marketing is Losing

Direct mail marketing was always a bit of a crap shoot, but that is even more true today. Anything consumers view as junk mail goes right into the trash can, and that is happening more and more. Television and radio ads are also declining in effectiveness. Consumers are distrusting traditional marketing media more and more. PR is a way for you to use press releases, community events and charitable giving to get your name everywhere without relying on traditional advertising. Instead, you can generate hundreds of feel-good stories about your company and the way it supports employees, the community and charities. More and more students are finding that a master’s in public relations now goes much farther than one in advertising.

Social Media

A good, organized PR campaign involves quite a bit of planning. This gives you the opportunity to recognize potential social media missteps before you make them. Ire and rage spread like wildfire on social media. You need a good PR campaign that includes planned and carefully reviewed social media posts checked before they go live. Bad news spreads faster than good online, so one false move on social media and you could have a PR nightmare on your hands. Plan carefully and know what to do to combat a PR problem before you’re in the midst of one.


Meet the Author: Lizzie Weakley

Lizzie is a freelance writer from Columbus, Ohio. She went to college at The Ohio State University where she studied communications. In her free time, she enjoys the outdoors and long walks in the park with her 3-year-old husky, Snowball.


Permanent link to this article: http://www.leadershipgirl.com/every-business-needs-good-pr-campaign/

What’s the Secret to Getting People to Buy What You’re Selling?

On the subject of selling, one of my favorite sales gurus, Kendrick Shope, says “All things being equal, friends buy from friends. All things being unequal, friends still buy from friends”.  There is one little secret to getting people to buy what you’re selling.  

selling

Truth: People buy with their emotions.  

Think about it this way. Why the heck would people line up for days to buy the next version of the iPhone if they weren’t buying with their emotions?

They feel a deep desire for this THING. Because it’s sexy. It’s cool. It’s awesome. They have DESIRE.  

When you think about someone buying from you, they desire what you have and what you’re selling.  

People buy YOU first, then they buy your product or service.

So, when selling, how do you sell “you” first.

selling1. First, if you’re selling online, you need to have a great profile and and you need to be someone that people want to connect with in the first place.

2. Next, you need to build relationships with people. You know, like perhaps actually interact with them, have a phone call, wish them a happy birthday, or meet for coffee. Crazy things that would involve having an actual, real, live, human relationship.

3. Then, once you have a relationship going, they might consider buying from you — if you have something that they want to buy. Honestly though, many people will never buy from you, and that’s okay. What you really want is for people to recommend you to all of their friends.

Another truth: People come online to be social, and they MAY decide to buy. But they decidedly do NOT come online to be sold to.

I know that it’s probably not what you want to hear. And you don’t want to believe that it is going to take people, on average, about 17 impressions before they even remember you online. Nor do you want to hear that you need to be messaging people wishing them a happy birthday, and learning their kids’ names, what their hobbies are, and just generally making friends. But like Kendrick said, all things being equal, friends buy from friends.  

Your job is to go be a friend.  

I’d love to invite you to come make some new friends at the Leadership Girl Live Summit, September 22 – 24. Join us for an event-filled weekend of networking, relationship building, and the possibility of meeting some new friends!

Learn more about the Leadership Girl Live Summit


Have you been using Google as your business consultant?
Are you ready to start working with an expert in business instead?
Schedule a consult with me today.

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Meet the Author: Haley Lynn Gray

Haley Lynn GrayHaley helps female entrepreneurs create a strategy plan for their businesses – so they can make enough money to spend quality time with their family, pay for their children’s dance lessons, pay bills – and not worry about where the next client is coming from.

Haley is a serial entrepreneur and founder of Leadership Girl. She helps other entrepreneurs build their businesses by sharing the benefits of her business education and experience through Business Coaching.

Whether you want to get a new business off the ground or expand an existing business, Haley can assist you.

Connect with Haley:


Permanent link to this article: http://www.leadershipgirl.com/getting-people-buy-what-youre-selling/

What You Need to Know to Master the Art of Business Networking

The first business networking meetings that I attended were something of a disaster for me. I’m naturally an introvert and am somewhat claustrophobic. Add in the ‘fun’ of being overweight, and it can make moving about in a crowd something… weird. To say that I was a hot mess navigating every networking meeting would probably be something of an understatement.

business networking

 

I realized that as part of doing business, I needed to master this skill. And being the logical person I am (some of you are probably laughing at that statement, admit it), I decided to put together a protocol and mental checklist for how to handle those business networking meetings.

I quickly realized I needed to carry business cards everywhere I go. That part was easy. I started experimenting with my 30- and 60-second introductions of who I am and what I do. Check.  

Next up was learning how to navigate a room filled with – GASP! – people.  

Did you know that you don’t actually have to talk to all 50 people in the room? Nor should you actively try to. You might roll your eyes at that one, but it was a big discovery for me. I already knew I shouldn’t try to talk to any single person for very long, but switching between groups was awkward to say the least.  

Add in the fear of “What if they don’t like me?”. Sweaty palms. UGH! Sweaty palms at a networking meeting are no good. Calm down. Breathe. Change how I think.  

business networkingI figured out how to consider it a successful business networking event for me. I decided that if I was able to talk to 3-5 people in 15 minutes and have a couple minutes of conversation with each one, I was good. Bonus points for setting up one or more 1:1 meetings with people for after the meeting.   

I had my little checklist and could do that. I’m a rule follower, so if I create my own little rule book, I’m good.

Flipping my thinking on its head has helped big time.   

Rather than going into a room and thinking, “What if they don’t like me?”, I think “Gosh, lots of new potential business partners. I wonder which ones will be the best ones”. So I started treating it as both a relationship building exercise and as an opportunity to interview and find the best of the best. In order to grow my business, I needed to find the right people who could refer potential clients to me. I also needed to find those people to whom I could confidently refer potential clients.

Once I started seeing business networking events as an opportunity to grow my business and relaxing about the whole thing, it got so much easier to use them effectively to make friends and get clients.

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Want to get more customers in your business? I’ve got just the opportunity for you!

Join us in Durham, NC, for my first ever business summit. At this live summit, on September 22-24, you’ll learn more about networking and how to grow your business. You’ll also have the opportunity to build some amazing relationships with other amazing entrepreneurs.  

For more details, please visit our Leadership Girl Live Summit page.


Have you been using Google as your business consultant?
Are you ready to start working with an expert in business instead?

Schedule a consult with me today.


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Meet the Author: Haley Lynn Gray

Haley Lynn GrayHaley helps female entrepreneurs create a strategy plan for their businesses – so they can make enough money to spend quality time with their family, pay for their children’s dance lessons, pay bills – and not worry about where the next client is coming from.

Haley is a serial entrepreneur and founder of Leadership Girl. She helps other entrepreneurs build their businesses by sharing the benefits of her business education and experience through Business Coaching.

Whether you want to get a new business off the ground or expand an existing business, Haley can assist you.

Connect with Haley:


Permanent link to this article: http://www.leadershipgirl.com/master-art-business-networking/

The List of 100 Social Media Post Ideas

~by Haley Lynn Gray~

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My business coaching and social media clients frequently tell me that they draw a blank when trying to come up with ideas for what to post on social media. Thus, I decided to come up with a list of 100 ideas for posts that you can use for your social media.

If you get stuck, refer to this list of social media post ideas to get yourself unstuck.

The List of 100 Social Media Post Ideas1-Post a picture of yourself.  Many people simply don’t post enough pictures of themselves. Our clients want to know what we’re doing and how we’re doing it.

2-Post about a holiday. Daysoftheyear.com is a great website with so many holidays and arcane options for holidays. There are almost always fabulous choices for holidays you can celebrate. From Blueberry Pancake day to National Sibling day, there are holidays galore in there.  

3-Post your blog posts.  If you’ve written blog posts, share them. You can and should share them over and over again on platforms like Twitter. You can also share them again on Facebook and LinkedIn, but you will need to spread out posting of the content over a period of time.

4-Create custom graphics using sites like Canva.com. You can put together quotes, memes and other little cute things. You can use photos and graphics provided by Canva or you can upload your own images.

5-Share your favorite or interesting videos that resonate with your audience.

6-Post pictures of your products or services.  You don’t want to miss this opportunity to highlight what you’re selling.

7-Tell people what you are up to in your business.  

8-Ask questions about topics that are interesting to your audience.  Questions can be fun, silly, serious or that require thought.

9-Run a 3, 5 or 7 day goal-oriented challenge.  Give people a goal and have them work towards it. This can be a great audience building exercise, as people will want to learn more about your business. This works particularly well for coaches and entrepreneurs who work with clients.

10-Ask your audience to post a picture of themselves or their pets. Make it more interesting by proposing a theme. 

11-Share other people’s content.  This is called curated content and is an important part of showing your expertise. The more you can show that you are involved with the world around you, and are sharing resources, the more of an expert you will appear to be.

12-Guest appearances. If you appear on any other blogs, podcasts, tv shows, radio shows, or other media, share it with your followers.

13-Share your accomplishments and milestone achievements with your audience.  

14-Fill in the blank posts work well. For example, “If I could go anywhere on vacation for free it would be to _____”.

15-Polls.  Facebook has a built in poll feature. Usually I just prefer to ask a question – such as, “What is your favorite flavor of ice cream?”

16-Statistics or data.  People love to argue over statistics, but be careful what you post! I learned to check every statistic before I post because sometimes they are wrong. And people enjoy discovering that you were wrong and posting about it.  

17-Infographics.  You can easily create infographics on Canva.com. But there are so many really good infographics out there on Pinterest that can be shared as well. I particularly like sharing information on teenage driving safety and causes that I care about in addition to work-related posts.

18-Post beautiful pictures.  You can find lovely pictures on Pixabay and Pexels for free.  There are so many wonderful places that have images which are free for commercial use. Just be sure to read the rules on the website carefully. You don’t want to be guilty of copyright infringement.

19-Share your own artwork, poetry, or photography.  People want to get to know YOU, and sharing these can show a deeper, more meaningful side.

20-Link to a controversial blog post or topic you feel deeply about. Lately, I’ve been posting about equal pay.

21-TED Talks are frequently a good source of information, especially for entrepreneurs.

22-Ask your followers for feedback on products or services.  People love to give feedback, and beta-test products, services, websites, and even get a sneak peek at your books or videos.

23-Pinterest can be a great source of inspiration.  I keep Pinterest boards specifically for inspiration. You can make those boards either public or private. If you attribute the source correctly, this can be a gold mine of fun.  

24-Share valuable resources and tools.  There are many times that I actually refer people to other experts in the field who know more about a particular subject than I do.

25-Facebook Live or other videos get a lot of views and interaction.  You may find it difficult to get interaction on a business page, but you will be shocked at the number of views you end up getting.

26-Offer a free download – a free ebook, a free guide, a checklist.  That will help you build your email list while building your tribe’s loyalty.  

27-Ask people what they would like to see.  You may be surprised at the responses you get.

28-Profile an employee or a valued client.  By sharing who works with you, and who you work with, you will offer insights into your business and also help shine the spotlight on clients.

29-Case studies are powerful tools for education and empowerment.  Please share lots of great case studies to be used as educational content. We used them extensively at Duke University and I think that they are a phenomenal tool.

30-Ask for reviews or testimonials.  Most us need more reviews or testimonials on our social media pages or on Google. In fact, those reviews are worth their weight in gold.

31-Ask your fans to submit photos that you can feature on your social media.  Fan photos are fabulous, and the quality can be phenomenal.

32-Share a favorite book or a book that you’ve recently read.  Bonus points if you include a review and a link to it on Amazon. (Double bonus points if you leave a review on Amazon!)

33-Recommend your favorite products and services.  I send out an email periodically with links to the products and services that I use to run my business. I am an affiliate with some of them, and this gives me the opportunity to make a few dollars as well as recommend products and services that I stand behind.  

34-Post tips.  I have found that creating a list of tips in my social media scheduler (MeetEdgar.com) and having it post those periodically is great help. People love them, comment on them and share them. By creating a repository of those tips, I’ve got them for the long haul.

35-Share time management tips.  People appreciate learning more about how other business owners manage their time and how they’ve managed to become successful while building their business. By sharing this kind of information, you become even more of a great resource, and more human and real.

36-Collect quotes from other industry experts and post them on your website.

37-Start conversations with industry leaders.  You may not get an answer, but you should at least try.

38-Create photo collages.  You can use Canva or PicMonkey to create one.

39-Show ‘then and now’ photos.  People love to see what your first website looked like or where you were 5 years ago.  

40-Share comics or memes.  Show a bit of humor and people will love you. One of the best examples is George Takei. Millions of people follow him and share his hilarious, witty memes.

41-Recommend a colleague or associate.  By bringing visibility and attention to your colleagues you will help them grow your business, and they in turn will help you grow yours!

42-Share breaking industry news.  You can set alerts on Google to alert you when there is new news that affects your industry.  

43-Post inspirational videos from Youtube or Facebook.  There are so many fun, inspirational and educational videos — the hardest decision is where to start.

44-Ask people to guess or predict the results of major events.  This can be about who will win an election, or a sports match or tournament.

45-Ask True/False questions.  Or Fact/Fiction. You can use Snopes.com as a source of interesting urban legends.  

46-Share the latest news about your business.  Did your business just hit a major milestone? New employee? Share it, preferably with photos!  

47-Post coupons and links to someone else’s promotion or sale.  I find that telling people about sales and promotions gets them excited. (And who doesn’t love a good sale?)

48-Share some personal details.  I have people who I swear follow me for stories about my kids. It amuses them to see me get hit and held up by a certain child of mine who likes to shoot nerf bullets at me while I’m on Facebook Live. Obviously, you don’t want to overshare, but some details show that you’re more than just a business owner — that you’re a real person too.

49-Share stories about your company in the news. That tends to spark more news.

50-Look for opportunities to appear on podcasts as a guest.  Then once the show goes live, post that on your social media feeds.

51-Guest blog for other blogs and other news media sites. Then share these on your social media pages. You’ll generate great backlinks to your websites and buzz about your company.

52-Share awards that your company has won. Done properly, this helps build trust with your followers.

53-Hold a flash sale.  People love a good buy, and by running random sales, you will get them looking for more.

54-Share the latest industry research.  Do you have some studies or statistics you can share? (Bonus points if they become an infographic)

55-Give a shout out or thank you to your fans.  People will appreciate being acknowledged.

56-Give expert advice and information about a topic of interest to your followers.  This helps establish your reputation online.

57-Do a series of social media posts around a topic or theme.  I frequently put together a series of topics for a month or two or three that tie together. I also create custom graphics for all of the posts to tie them together.

58-Get employees or fans to guest post for you.  The more the better.

59-Interview guests on Facebook Live.  You can interview other industry experts, and in the process you’ll further establish your own credibility.

60-Do a video about a current event in your business on Facebook Live, YouTube or other format.

61-Create a compilation of industry news. Top 10 lists are always appreciated.

62-Create a list of books to read.  These can be industry-related or even books for enjoyment.

63-Support a cause or charity and encourage your audience to support the same cause.

64-Run a 3, 5 or 7 day self-improvement challenge.  As an example, you can challenge people to improve their health, organization, time management or some other aspect of their lives.

65-Host a give-away of something good.  Different social media platforms have different rules regarding contests, so you will need to make sure to comply with all applicable rules.

66-Pull out interesting points from your blog posts and share those.  You can link back to your original blog so that the readers get “the rest of the story”.

67-Make predictions about where the industry is headed.  

68-Post life hacks.  Just as there are many websites dedicated to Ikea hacks, take the opportunity to show novel and unexpected uses of your products in real life.

69-Link to comments on your blog that are particularly interesting or helpful.

70-Create FAQs to answer questions that you get asked a lot.

71-Share your story and back history with your audience.  People like to know where you’ve come from and what your background is.

72-Just as you share where you’ve come from, share where you see the your company going, as well as your vision.  

73-Share pertinent pieces of information or background on topics from your education.  For some, when we leave school we want to forget where we’ve been, but there are many extremely helpful resources or pieces of information that will be helpful to our readers.

74-Connect people to a helpful Facebook or LinkedIn group.  This is just another way for you to show your value and helpfulness.

75-Post a link to an old newsletter.

76-“Throwback Thursday”.  Post about something in the history of your company, whether it’s a picture of an old logo, website or story about the way things used to be.

77-Tell a funny story.  People love stories and anecdotes from our lives.  

78-Stalk your competitors – on social media, that is.  Look at what your competitors are sharing and find a way to do an even better job than they do.

79-Share (or post a link to) an employee biography.

80-Give an award for employee of the month.  Then share the information on social media.

81-Search Wikipedia for an interesting topic.  Add to the content and quote it on social media.

82-Answer a question on Quora – “A place to share knowledge and better understand the world”.

83-Answer questions you receive.  If someone has sent you a question, answer their question publicly as either a video response or in a mini blog post.

84-Share a funny commercial.

85-Run a photograph contest by asking viewers to submit photos to be voted on.

86-Share a great music video.

87-Write a post in Haiku format and challenge your readers to respond in Haiku.

88-Share your best time management tips learned as an entrepreneur.  We can all use more time and find better ways to manage our time.

89-Share a favorite piece of artwork.

90-Create a story and run that story thread through your business.  

91-Get a mascot and show pictures of the mascot in action.  I have a pink pig named “Oink”. I take photos of him taking a bath, getting into trouble in the kitchen, and more. My friend has a frog who drinks a lot of wine at her vineyard.

92-Post inspirational quotes from your favorite role models.  

93-Ask people to post a picture of their pets.  

94-Show a picture of your desk.  People are intrigued by our offices and desks. They may even agree to show you their desks. (My desk is always a pile of papers)

95-Post a “thank you” to your clients.  Let them know how much you appreciate each and every one of them.

96-Comment on world topics.  But be sensitive to the political climate – be sure to stop your posts and feeds if there is a significant world crisis or news event.

97-Give examples of what NOT to do.  Whether it’s fashion or how to cause yourself to be blacklisted by Google. A ‘what not to do’ tip can be extremely powerful.

98-Ask your audience what questions they would like answered.  You can structure your responses around their questions.

99-Conduct a live Q & A session.  Announce in advance when you will be available and show up to answer questions.

100-Promote your products and services lightly.  You should promote only once after every 10 or so other posts; the goal is to draw in customers. The reason I mention this last is because you should keep your business promotions to a minimum.



Have you been using Google as your business consultant?

Are you ready to start working with an expert in business instead?

Schedule a consult with me today.


Meet the Author: Haley Lynn Gray

Haley Lynn GrayHaley helps female entrepreneurs create a strategy plan for their businesses – so they can make enough money to spend quality time with their family, pay for their children’s dance lessons, pay bills – and not worry about where the next client is coming from.

Haley is a serial entrepreneur and founder of Leadership Girl. She helps other entrepreneurs build their businesses by sharing the benefits of her business education and experience through Business Coaching.

Whether you want to get a new business off the ground or expand an existing business, Haley can assist you.

Connect with Haley:


Permanent link to this article: http://www.leadershipgirl.com/definitive-list-social-media-post-ideas/

Can You Imagine a Place Where Women Exchange Ideas and Collaborate?

I imagine a world where women come together to grow their businesses. A world in which we learn and exchange knowledge for the greater good — where we collaborate and build the best versions of ourselves and our businesses.

collaborateI’ve been dreaming about bringing people together for a long time because I’ve learned that when we come together and collaborate, we are stronger and more productive. When we expand the pie, we all have more.

In part, these are the reasons I founded Leadership Girl. I saw a very real need for support, resources, collaboration, education, and funding for small woman-owned businesses.  Because we have different needs, goals and desires for our businesses.  

I know that it is possible to leverage our strengths together to really grow our businesses.  

Building a business can be a lonely exercise. People who don’t have their own business don’t understand the exhilaration of making a sale, gaining a customer, and also the desolation of losing one. They don’t understand that the world is an incredibly noisy place with people telling you that you MUST do ONE thing to be successful, that you have to follow exactly THIS PATH, and only then will you be successful beyond your wildest dreams. So you have to weed through the noise to determine who is being truthful and who is selling you a bill of goods.

That is why I created Leadership Girl — to give business owners, like you, solid, no-nonsense information — because I believe in straight shooting. That’s just who I am.

(Ask me about the time I went skeet shooting as a teenager and one of the men, after I soundly beat him, asked me, “don’t you have a tea party you need to go to?”)

I once sat in a room full of men and wondered where the women were. Why weren’t they getting the education, why weren’t they getting the promotions, where were their businesses? So many why’s and not enough answers.  

collaborateI decided to do something about it, and me being me, I don’t do anything by half measures. I decided that it would be an awesome time to start a business. So I got my url, started my blog and opened up my business.  

Fast forward a few years, and I’m starting to take the next, big, audacious steps. This year, in September, I’m running my first live business Summit, and I want you to come. I want you to show up, to network, to meet other serious powerhouses in business, and learn more about business. I want you to walk away with some new collaborations and ideas that you can implement in your business NOW to make it super successful.  

That’s exactly why I’m here… to help you become successful, to be the catalyst and change agent, and to provide the resources you need for your business.

Let’s do it together! Let’s change the world one woman at a time, because that’s the only way that real, concerted change has ever been made. By starting a movement with a goal.

In this case, the goal is to help us build the businesses and lives of our dreams, so that we can pay for preschool, dance lessons, or a trip to Disney World for our littlest princesses. (Or Karate tournaments for our warrior princesses.)

I would consider it an honor and a privilege to have you join me, and many other entrepreneurs, at the Leadership Girl Live Summit in September, 2017 — the first one ever.

Learn more about the Leadership Girl Live Summit here.


Have you been using Google as your business consultant?
Are you ready to start working with an expert in business instead?

Schedule a consult with me today.


share this post - collaborate


Meet the Author: Haley Lynn Gray

Haley Lynn GrayHaley helps female entrepreneurs create a strategy plan for their businesses – so they can make enough money to spend quality time with their family, pay for their children’s dance lessons, pay bills – and not worry about where the next client is coming from.

Haley is a serial entrepreneur and founder of Leadership Girl. She helps other entrepreneurs build their businesses by sharing the benefits of her business education and experience through Business Coaching.

Whether you want to get a new business off the ground or expand an existing business, Haley can assist you.

Connect with Haley:


Permanent link to this article: http://www.leadershipgirl.com/women-exchange-ideas-collaborate/

100 Favorite Social Media Conversation Starters for Better Engagement

100 Favorite Social Media Conversation Starters for Better EngagementGetting the ball rolling on a conversation and getting people to engage on your social media accounts can be quite a challenge. It takes a variety of content such as helpful information, inspirational posts or a simple question. But so many people are left wondering what they should post to get engagement. After all, getting organic engagement can be THE Holy Grail for all social media marketers.

I’ve spent countless hours coming up with and building a list of social media conversation starters that would encourage people to respond to my posts in my Facebook Group and in my other social media accounts.  I decided to share this list with you, so you could have some ideas, because people are always telling me that they struggle with this.

Try these out on your social media, and let me know how they work for you!

 

Here are 100 of my favorite conversation starters for social media:

1. What is your favorite flavor of ice cream?

One of the best conversation starters on social media2. Toilet paper. Over or Under?

3. What is your favorite small, local business? Why?

4. If you could be a Disney Princess, which one would you be?

5. If you could have dinner with any person living or dead, who would it be?

6. How many languages do you speak (and which ones)?

7. How many schools did you attend while growing up?

8. What is your favorite TV show?

9. What was the last great movie you saw?

10. Do you give money to panhandlers?

11. What is your favorite restaurant?

12. How many hours of sleep did you get last night?

13. What did you study in college and what do you do now?

14. What is your favorite way to keep healthy?

15. What is the last random act of kindness you performed?

16. Would you rather sit or stand all day?

17. What is the first thing you do when you wake up?

18. What one decision in your life would you go back and change?

19. Do you wear makeup?

20. Do you read your emails every day?

21. What one thing would you tell your 10 year old self?

22. What is your beverage of choice?

23. What is your go-to snack?

24. What part of the world are you in?

25. Have you ever gone skinny dipping?

26. What is your favorite Social Media platform?

27. When is the last time you ate out?

28. What is the hardest thing you’ve ever done?

Do you prefer dogs or cats?29. Dog lover or cat lover?

30. What is the last picture on your camera?

31. How long does it take you to get ready in the morning?

32. iPhone or Android?

33. Could you live without social media?

34. If you were stranded on a deserted island, what one thing would you want to have?

35. What is your biggest accomplishment?

36. What is the highest level of education you’ve achieved, and what was it?

37. How old were you when you learned to swim?

38. How old were you when you learned to ride a bike?

39. Do you eat pizza with your hands or with a fork and knife?

40. What is your favorite memory as a child?

41. Who is your favorite Disney Character, and why?

42. If you won the lottery, what would you do?

43. How many hours per week do you tend to work on average?

44. What is your favorite day of the week?

45. Post a recent photo of yourself.

46. How do you stand out from everyone else in your industry?

47. What is your superpower?

48. If you could go back and change one decision from the early stages of your business, what would it be and why?

49. What is your favorite breakfast?

50. Who is your idol?

51. Tell me what your business is in five words or less.

52. What is your absolute favorite food?

53. What one beauty product could you not live without?

54. When you were little, what did you dream about becoming when you grew up?

55. What is your favorite easy dinner?

56. If you had unlimited funds in life, would you still be in your business?

57. When you need to destress, what is your favorite go-to activity?

58. What is your most productive time of day?

59. What is your favorite form of self care?

60. Describe your favorite pair of shoes.

61. Do you have pets? If so, what kind?

62. What is your favorite way to relax?

63. What is your favorite holiday?

Do you prefer chocolate or Vanilla?64. Chocolate or vanilla?

65. What are your best time management tips?

66. What is your favorite quote?

67. Who is your favorite author?

68. Who is your favorite movie director?

69. What is your current favorite song?

70. Do you listen to music while you work?

71. What is your favorite animal?

72. When is the last time you did something extra special for someone else?

73. Do you know how to drive a stick shift?

74. Have you ever ridden a motorcycle?

75. What is the most exotic thing you’ve ever eaten?

76. What do you do in your spare time?

77. If you had all of the time in the universe, what would you do?

78. Who do you most admire, and why?

79. What are your favorite business tools?

80. How much time per week do you spend on social media?

81. Do you have a TV in your bedroom?

82. Do you keep your cell phone with you in the bedroom at night?

83. What are you grateful for today?

84. What’s your usual bedtime?

85. If you suddenly found $47 and had to give it to someone else, who would you give it to and why?

86. If you could wave a magic wand and change one thing in your business, what would it be?

87. What is the last book you read?

88. What is your favorite blog?

89. Do you have a regular exercise schedule?

90. How do you track your time?

91. How much do you exercise in a given week?

92. What is your quick and easy go-to breakfast?

93. What do you usually eat for lunch?

94. Do you use ceramic or plastic dishes?

95. Who is an ideal client for you?

96. Do you prefer the city or country?

97. How do you pronounce the word “Pecan”?

98. Where do you consider yourself to be from?

99. Have you ever lived in another country?

100. Have you ever flown in an airplane?
 


Have you been using Google as your business consultant?

Are you ready to start working with an expert in business instead?

Schedule a consult with me today.



Meet the Author: Haley Lynn Gray

Haley Lynn GrayHaley helps female entrepreneurs create a strategy plan for their businesses – so they can make enough money to spend quality time with their family, pay for their children’s dance lessons, pay bills – and not worry about where the next client is coming from.

Haley is a serial entrepreneur and founder of Leadership Girl. She helps other entrepreneurs build their businesses by sharing the benefits of her business education and experience through Business Coaching.

Whether you want to get a new business off the ground or expand an existing business, Haley can assist you.

Connect with Haley:


Permanent link to this article: http://www.leadershipgirl.com/100-social-media-conversation-starters/

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